Parent Update Announcements


posted Mar 19, 2018, 4:20 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good afternoon.  That snow yesterday wasn’t fun to move around, was it?  Hopefully, we’ll miss next week’s storm(s) and get out of school before Old Home Day…..

I have attached three documents to this email:

  • Gilford’s 1st  Annual Flapjack Breakfast (this is open to current 4th and 5th graders)

  • Gilford Youth Softball information regarding clinics and registration

  • Gilford Cal Ripken Baseball registration

If your child is interesting in playing a spring sport here at school, they must first register at the FamilyID website regardless if they played a sport previously this year.  Also, all athletes will need to take the IMPACT Concussion test. This will happen during the school day during the week of March 19.  Also, there will be a parents meeting for spring athletes here at the middle school cafeteria on Monday, March 19 at 6:00.

Two weeks ago, 7 of our talented theatre students traveled to New York City to audition fo the “Itheatrics Summer Theatre Academy.”  This is a very exclusive summer program. More than 650 students from around the country auditioned for 200 spots; as well as 50 “waitlisted” spots.

The purpose of the program is to work on and develop new adaptations of current and past Broadway shows suitable for middle school performers.  Our kids will work on this material before any school gets to perform it on stage. We are very proud of their hard work. And it has paid off as all 7 students were either chosen or waitlisted.  Kudos to Anna Cook, Brenna O’Connor, Maria Uicker, Sam Leggett, Heather McKenzie, Sydney Eastman, and Avery Hennig.

Next Wednesday from 2:30-3:30 in our cafeteria, we will hold our first ever Cribbage Tournament.  This is open to students, teachers, and even parents who want to play Cribbage or learn how to play.  We’ll even have some snacks! Hope some of you can make it!

Other than Cribbage, two important dates for next week are the Town Elections at the Gilford Youth Center (7:00am-7:00pm) and the end of the second trimester next Friday.

Thank you and have a nice weekend and remember to spring those clocks forward one hour on Sunday!


posted Mar 19, 2018, 4:18 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  And I hope that the luck of the Irish is with you all today.

Congratulations to our 6th Grade Math Team who handily won the regional championship on Thursday afternoon!  They are a dedicated group led by our 6th grade math teacher, Mrs. Fox. Our champion mathletes are Sam Dahl, Elizabeth Albert, Abby Seal, Isaiah Reese, Haukur Karlsson, Caleb Giovanditto, Ben Suranyi, Michael Guerin, Aiden Bondaz, Ryan Turmel, and Andrew McDonough.

The Chess Club will be meeting the next two Thursdays in our cafeteria from 2:30-3:25.  All are welcome to attend!

Students interested in playing a spring sport here at GMS MUST undergo IMPACT Concussion testing.  This involves taking a “test” on a computer (takes about an hour) that gives us a baseline in case we need to determine, in the future, whether or not they have experienced a concussion.  We will do this the first hour (or so) this week with each sport taking the test each day: Monday (Track), Tuesday (Baseball), Wednesday (Softball), Thursday (Tennis), and Friday (Unified Soccer).  Our school nurse, Beth Haddock, and high school nurse, Meg Jenkins, will administer the tests in our computer labs.  If you have any questions, you may contact them or our athletic director, Rick Acquilano.

Three important dates this week:  Monday at 6:00 in our cafeteria will be the Spring Sports Parent Informational Night; Wednesday, is our Early Release (12:20); and, Thursday is the beginning of the 3rd trimester.

This week’s tip from the “Middle Years”*  Tinker with Engineering: STEM activities are popular with tweens these days.  Encourage your child to explore the “E” in STEM with these engineering ideas. Take Apart - Have them disassemble and the reassemble simple mechanical objects like a pen or flashlight.  In the process, he can figure out what each part is used for and how it works. Design - Let your middle grader draw an invention to solve an engineering problem. He might sketch a more efficient system for delivering clean water to areas that lack it, for instance.  Build - Suggest that your tween use household materials to engineer projects related to what they’re studying in class. If they’re learning about thermal energy, they could make a pizza-box solar oven!

Let’s hope that the luck of the Irish sticks around for a while and that upcoming mid-week storm continues out to the Atlantic.  Thank you and have a nice rest of your weekend.



posted Feb 23, 2018, 5:42 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good morning.  My apologies for yesterday’s chaotic end to school.  A bus had broken down in our bus loop thus preventing the other buses to enter the loop.  So we had to wait for the GPD to arrive and help the traffic flow.  Meanwhile, technology failed me when I attempted to alert you parents as to the delay of your kiddos getting home.  Frustrating for sure but we survived.  Now for the good news….

Congrats to both the Boys and Girls Nordic Ski Teams on a very successful season.  The boys ended up as State Champions while the girls were runner-ups; Gold and Silver, not too shabby!  Mitchell Townsend and Cat Stow also took home Gold medals and are the state of New Hampshire champions; they will go on to compete in the U16 New England Championships.  There were over 100 skiers in each the boys and girls divisions; all of our skiers finished in the Top 100 including Vanessa Genakos who took the Silver in the girls division.  The other members of the team who helped earn those team medals were Ben Czerwinski, Clark Blackwelder, Scott Kulscar, Carter Forest, Alden Townsend, Patrick Gandini, Henry Stow, Aiden Bondaz, Rylee Stefan, Eva Bondaz, Megan Legro, Maddy Burlock, Sydney Eastman, and Ashley Kulscar.

Any boy in grades 6-8 who would like to play middle school baseball this spring, please register via Family ID located on our school’s webpage.  Also, on the Wednesday we return from vacation, players are invited to play catch and pick-up wiffle ball; contact Mr. Meyers for any questions.

Upcoming Volunteer Fingerprinting and Orientation Clinic will take place on March 6 at the SAU from 8:00-9:00.

Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful vacation with your families.



posted Feb 19, 2018, 5:26 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good afternoon.  I neglected to report the fantastic finish to our Girls B Basketball Team who finished off an undefeated season by capturing the championship in their tournament over at Belmont Middle School last week.  Congrats!


posted Feb 19, 2018, 4:04 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good afternoon.  I hope that this email finds you and your families well.

Yesterday, our 6th Grade Math Team took first place at their Math Meet.  We bested 10 other schools.  It was close, though, as the second place team was only 3 points behind us.  Eight of our eleven mathletes, scored a perfect 10 in at least one of their categories.

On Wednesday, our Boys B basketball team won their end-of-year tournament held here at GMS.  Unlike the math team, the boys won handily.  

And last weekend, our Boys A basketball team won their end-of-year tournament, as well!  They, too, won their championship in convincing fashion.

Our 7th & 8th Grade “Math Counts” Team will compete in the state round at PSU on March 10th.  
Colby Smith, MacKenzie Roys, Avery Marshall, Zoe Lehneman, and Vanessa Genakos will proudly represent GMS!  Colby was the overall winner at last week’s regional competition.

I have attached a flyer with information about the Gilford Got Lunch program.  Many thanks to Tracey Blandford, Peter Allen, Thom Francoeur and the rest of the GGL crew for all the work they do to help the families in our community.

Also attached to this email, is a letter from our athletic director, Rick Acquilano, regarding registering for Spring athletics.

Next week’s events:

Tomorrow = Nordic Ski Meet at White Mountains (10:30)

Monday = Nordic Ski Meet at the Sandwich Fair Grounds (10:00)

Thursday = Unified Basketball Alumni game at GHS (3:00)

Thursday & Friday = NO Homework Group

Thank you and hope you have a nice weekend.


Attachments available for 30 days until Sunday, March 18, 2018:
GGL Election Day Food Drive Flyer 2018.pdf
letter to parents spring 2017-18 ghs-gms.docx


posted Feb 9, 2018, 11:28 AM by Suzanne Bowen   [ updated Feb 12, 2018, 4:46 AM ]

Good afternoon.  From all reports, our students did us proud yesterday at both Gunstock and the Merrill Fay Ice Arena on their day of Winter Carnival fun.  We even had the kindergarteners stop by for a few runs on the Tubing Hill; our students let them cut the line ahead of them so they could get in an extra run or two.  Proud moment for a principal.

I have attached 2 documents to this email:

  • Our Volunteer Steering Committee’s “Valentine’s Craft Day” for 5th, 6th and 7th Graders on Monday

  • The Gilford Parks and Rec February Newsletter

Below are links to two events at the Gilford Youth Center:

Upcoming Events*:

Saturday & Sunday = Boys/Girls A Basketball Tournament at Winnisquam

Monday = Unified Basketball at Alton (3:30)

Tuesday & Wednesday = Girls B Basketball Tournament at Belmont; Boys B Basketball Tournament at GMS

Wednesday = Nordic Ski Meet at Fall Mountain (3:00); Early Release (12:06)

Thursday = Alpine Ski Meet at Attitash (9:30); Unified Basketball Jamboree at Laconia (3:00)

*There will be NO Homework Group on Thursday, February 22

This week’s tip from the “Middle Years”  I care about you*  Caring about others can make your child feel good about himself and even help him make new friends.  Inspire compassion with these ideas:  Trade Places-Suggest that he put himself in someone else’s shoes.  Say his friend is disappointed because he didn’t make a sports team.  Your tween could think about how he would feel if he worked hard for something and didn’t get it. Seeing things from his friend’s perspective will help him understand his friend’s feelings and empathize.  Take Action-Encourage him to find a way to support others who are going through a rough time.

Thank you and enjoy the weekend.


*Resources for Educators, February 2018

Attachments available for 30 days until Sunday, March 11, 2018:
Valentine’s Craft Day.pdf
P&R News Feb. '18.pdf

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posted Jan 23, 2018, 7:14 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good morning.  Yes, a weekly update coming to you on a Tuesday.  Just trying to keep you on your toes…..

Our Performing Arts Department brings to you this week, “Bye, Bye Birdie.”  Shows will run at 7:00 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  There will also be a matinee on Saturday at 2:00.  Once again, Mr. Demko has cast two different groups of talented performers who will take the stage and Mr. Witham has about 20 students working behind the scenes (and creating them!) on his tech crew.  We hope that you can take the time to enjoy the show!

If your child has yet to turn in his/her permission slip/money for our annual Winter Carnival, they need to do so tomorrow, please.  We need to give Gunstock an accurate number on Thursday so we may purchase the tickets.  Even if your child is not planning on attending, we need that sheet.

Yesterday, we held our annual Spelling Bee up in our library.  The students that took part were finalists from each of their grade levels.  Taking the school championship was Samuel Leggett with Rachel Beck and Sydney Eastman taking second and third, respectively.  Sam will now move on to the state/regional competition!

Not to be outdone by their fellow spellers, the National Geographic Bee finals were also held recently.  Taking the school championship was Jalen Reese with Lily Cassiano taking second.  Jalen now has the opportunity to take the online exam to determine whether or not he qualifies for the state competition.

The Winter Sports Photos will take place tomorrow (hopefully, third time's the charm) after school beginning at 2:30 and ending at 3:15 (Nordic, Boy’s Hoops, Girl’s Hoops, Alpine).

A parent recently shared with me a website that you should be made aware of called “”  This is a live video/chat site where anyone can watch anyone else doing anything; much of it inappropriate, drug-related, and even illegal.  Their motto or catchphrase is, “Talk to strangers!”  Something we parents have been telling our kids not to do for decades.

This week’s tip from the “Middle Years”*  Curse words: Not cool.  Today’s “plugged-in” tweens may get used to hearing and reading foul language and decide it’s no big deal.  Explain to your middle grader that cursing can make a bad impression on teachers, coaches, and even friends.  Suggest that he/she substitute words like “ugh” and “darn” instead.

This Thursday (2:30-3:30) is the Invitational Chess Tournament in our cafeteria.  All ages are welcome to enjoy the friendly competition!  And next Wednesday (1/31) is an Early Release (12:20).

Thank you and have a nice rest of the day.


*Resources for Educators, January 2018


posted Jan 16, 2018, 4:18 AM by Suzanne Bowen   [ updated Jan 16, 2018, 4:21 AM ]

Good evening.  And a very warm one at that!  I want to start by thanking the PTA and our Volunteer Steering Committee for sponsoring and doing the leg work, respectively, our 5th and 6th grade movie night tonight.  I think we have about 30 or so students in the cafeteria right now enjoying popcorn, pizza, and “Despicable Me 3” for free!

Three more classes that I visited recently, the first two reminded me of my own days as a Gilford Middle/High School student back in the late 70’s/early 80’s.  The first was Mrs. Damato’s 6th grade computer class where students were learning a skill that I learned on a typewriter by senior year with Mr. Shannon; keyboarding.  A skill that that has been used over and over and over again in my adult life.  But because of the technological tools available to Mrs. Damato, it is much more interesting for our students to hone these skills other than listening to your teacher saying, “A space, A,S, space, F, J, space” etc.  Mr. Walsh was also in there competing with the students with his typing skills.  He lost.  I then moved on to Mrs. Hanf’s 8th grade Family and Consumer Science class; in my day it was Home Economics.  Mrs. Hanf was teaching them the part of the sewing machine and what impressed me was how fascinated some of the students were as to how the machine worked.  It also reminded me of the fact that the worst grade I earned in middle school was in this class; I sewed my pockets on backwards on my apron.  Mrs. Martin had high standards.  Lastly, I caught part of Mr. Bohn’s 7th grade Health class where he was leading the students in a discussion on why people start to do drugs.  One reason that he was discussing was that people wanted to get rid of “unwanted conditions” such as stress, depression, boredom, pain, etc.  Students themselves came up with some very insightful reasons why someone might take drugs; having poor role models, wanting to “be cool” or fit in, genetics, peer pressure, to relax, etc.  Hopefully, these discussions will lead to students making the right choice when they are presented the opportunity to try drugs or alcohol.

The following students have made it to the GMS National Geographic Bee finals.  Georgia Eckhardt, Gabreaelle Perron, Josiah Valentine, Rosabella Lesniak, Abigail Seal, Lydia Stefan, Lily Cassiano, Jalen Reese, John Blandford, Anthony Aguiar, Zoe Lehneman, and Tim Jagusch.  The final school competition will be on Tuesday.

Congratulations to the Nordic Ski team where both the boys and girls team finished in first at their last meet up at Gunstock.  Winning the boys relay were Mitchell Townsend and Patrick Gandini and for the girls it was Catherine Stow and Vanessa Genakos who won the event.  The other pairs also finished strongly; Aiden Bondaz/Henry Stow, Karson Genakos/Alden Townsend, Carter Forest/Scott Kulscar, Clark Blackwelder/Ian Lofblad, Ashley Kulscar/Madeline Burlock, and Rylee Stefan/Sydney Eastman.  And did you know that their coach, Nina, is a 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist and a 6-time World Champion?!  No wonder our team does so well!

On the next two Thursdays, the GMHS Chess Club will hold an Invitational in our cafeteria.  The chess club would like to invite parents, staff (K12, SAU, custodial, etc), home schoolers, alumni, and community members to play or just watch.  The hope is to increase competition and camaraderie within our community.  If you are interested, please let me know so Mr. Maslow (GMHS Chess Club Advisor) can bring the appropriate amount of snacks.  The events will take place from 2:30-3:30 each day.

Make-up Sports photos will take place on Wednesday; Nordic Skiing (2:30), Girls Hoops (2:40); Boys Hoops (2:50), and Alpine Skiing (3:15) here at the middle school.

Congratulations to our Math team who finished in second place in their last meet.  They are now currently tied for first with Laconia.  Their next meet is at Interlakes on Wednesday.

Two upcoming athletic opportunities that your child may be interested in:  One, the registration for the Lakes Region Girls Softball has begun.  You can register at their LRGS website or register at one of their two upcoming winter warm-up clinics held at Belmont Elementary School on January 27 and February 3 (1:00-2:15 4-8 year-olds and 2:15-3:30 8-12 year-olds).  Second, the registration for Lakes Region Lacrosse is open by going to their LRL website.  Their season opens on April 8.  If you need more information or are looking to help the organization in any way, please contact Jodie Gallant.

Lastly in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a quote from Dr. King:  “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’”

Thank you and good night.



posted Jan 5, 2018, 11:04 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good afternoon.  I want to start by wishing you all good luck this weekend in avoiding having frozen pipes in your homes; it’s gonna be a frigid one!

The PTA is sponsoring a movie night for 5th & 6th graders that will be held next Friday (1/12) at 6:15 in our gym.  The movie they are showing is, “Despicable Me 3.”  There will be popcorn and drinks supplied by both the PTA and our middle school Volunteer Steering Committee.  And best of all, the PTA is footing the bill for everything; this is a no-cost event!

Those of you who are enrolled in the PTA’s after-school Spanish program are reminded that it begins next Tuesday in Mrs. Master’s room (538) here at the middle school.  It will run from 2:45-3:30; please be prompt in picking your child.  If you have specific questions regarding the class, please contact Annie Zukas over at the high school.

Unified Basketball Coach, Chris Parker, is looking for additional members to join his team this winter.  This is wonderful opportunity for students who are looking to learn the basics of basketball (or hone their skills), build teamwork skills, recognize the importance of safety on a full court, and, most importantly, have fun.  Any boy or girl in all grades may join.  Basketball knowledge/skill is optional; a positive attitude is a must.  The team, in partnership with Special Olympics of NH, participates in several practices, home/away games with teams in the area (Laconia, Alton, Winnisquam, Belmont, etc).  The season ends with a multi-team jamboree and social event.  Last year, we also played a thrilling game at the high school with GHS alumni.  If you want to be part of a stress-free, fun, and uber rewarding experience, this is for you.  Please let either myself or Mr. Parker know if your child is interested.  Sign-up sheets are outside the main office; our first game is next Thursday here at GMS.

A friendly reminder that if you’d like to order a yearbook for your child, just follow this link to the Josten’s website to order one.

Winter Carnival permission slips will be coming home soon.  The earlier we get them back, the easier it is for us to plan a smooth event.  The event takes place on February 8 and kids have the option of skiing/tubing at Gunstock, skating at the Merrill Fay Ice Arena, or staying back at GMS.  Skaters can also tube and ski (granted that they have their own equipment and know where it will be up at the mountain).  Those spending the entire day at Gunstock may rent equipment.

Next week’s events:

  • Monday = Boys A/B Basketball (4:00/5:00); Girls A/B Basketball at InterLakes (4:00/5:00); School Board Meeting (6:00)

  • Tuesday = Nordic Ski Meet at Kearsarge (3:00; students dismissed at 12:45)

  • Wednesday = Early Release (12:20); Girls/Boys A Basketball (4:00/5:00)

  • Thursday = Unified Basketball (3:30); Alpine Ski Meet (9:30)

  • Friday = Girls B/A Basketball (3:30/4:30); Boys B/A Basketball at Newfound (3:30/4:30)

Thank you and keep warm!



posted Jan 2, 2018, 4:13 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good morning, parents and staff.  I hope you are enjoying the time with your families and the fresh snow; the cold, probably not so much….

Not to be out done by their bandmates, we have several members of our choir who also got accepted into the Lakes Region Junior High Festival.  They are Anna Cook, Caitlyn Costa, Josh Dery, Kaleena Dyer, Zoe Lehneman, Owen Nelson, Mackenzie Roys, and Colby Smith.  That makes 15 of our students who earned this honor!  And if you were able to make our Holiday Concert last week, you’ll know why so many of our performers were accepted; it was quite a concert.

Our middle school Volunteer Steering Committee is partnering with the Gilford PTA to sponsor a Grade 5 & 6 movie night here at GMS on January 12 (6:15-8:00).  More details about the event will be forthcoming.

January is a busy month for our 8th Graders as they (believe it or not) prepare for their transition to high school.  Key dates are as follows:

  • January 16 & 17 = GHS counselors will give presentations to 8th grade classes

  • January 18 = GHS Incoming Freshman Parent Night at GHS (6:30)

  • January 22-26 = Students are recommended, by their 8th grade teachers, for high school courses.

  • February 1 & 2 = GHS counselors will meet briefly with each of their incoming freshman.

Next week’s happenings:

  • Wednesday

    • Nordic Skiing (2:30)

    • Boys/Girls A Basketball (3:30/4:30)

  • Thursday

    • Winter Sports Pictures (2:30)

  • Friday

    • Boys A/B Basketball at Alton (3:30/4:30)

    • Girls A/B Basketball (3:30/4:30)

This week’s tip from The Middle Years*  “Operation ‘reset’”  Winter break gives your child the gift of extra time.  Encourage him to use it wisely with a mix of relaxation and preparation for the new year.  Refresh: Suggest he do enjoyable activities he hasn’t had time for.  Perhaps he’ll read a graphic novel that’s been sitting on a shelf or create a workout routine to do with a friend.  Catch up:  Ask your tween to think about how he can hit the ground running (when he returns from break).  If he has assignments due when school begins, he could work on them a little each day.  Or he might empty his subject folders by filing returned papers at home and start with a fresh slate in January.

I wish you all a happy (and safe) new year!


*Resources for Educators, December 2017

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